Aegis BPO, business process outsourcing (BPO) arm of Essar Group, has acquired Australian firm UCMS Group Limited. The BPO firm has been acquired for an aggregate equity valuation of $40.7 million or Australian dollar (AUD) 54 million. The deal has been approved by the board of directors of both companies.

The deal involves Aegis paying UCMS stockholders AUD 0.98 per share in cash through Aegis BPO Services Australia Pty Limited. The share price represents a premium of 133% over closing price of UCMS on 14th May 2009 of AUD 0.42.

Earlier this year Aegis offered to buyout US-based BPO ICT Group for $128-million, which was rejected by the latter. Last October, Aegis acquired Los Angeles-based PeopleSupport for $250 million to expand its presence in the Philippines.

After this deal, Aegis will have a presence in India, the Philippines, the United States, Costa Rica, Kenya and Australia. The company has more than 33,000 employees and annualized revenues of approximately $500 million.

"Aegis has grown five fold in size and ten fold in employee strength in the last four years. Australia and New Zealand logically become a part of our growth strategy and offer an opportunity for Aegis to expand its footprint in this geography. The combined entity will offer clients and prospects an expanded set of solutions and services from a broader geographic delivery platform," said Aparup Sengupta, Global CEO and Managing Director of Aegis Limited.

UCMS is being advised by McNamee Lawrence & Co and Minter Ellison. Aegis is being advised by Macquarie Capital Advisers Limited and Clayton Utz.

The transaction is subject to several conditions, including UCMS shareholder approval.

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